Kathmandu: World’s Number 1 Nature Destinations

Kathmandu, the federal capital of Nepal, has been voted the world’s best natural destination by the well-known travel website TripAdvisor.

In seven categories, Tripadvisor revealed the “Traveler’s Choice Awards-2024,” with Kathmandu taking the top spot on the list of natural locations for 2024.

Out of the top ten natural locations worldwide, Kathmandu comes in first. The top travel locations for 2024 have been revealed by Tripadvisor in seven different categories. Ten of them are the top travel spots, as well as trending, natural, cultural, culinary, honeymoon, and sustainable travel spots.

Similar to this, TripAdvisor, the largest travel advisory website in the world, has ranked Kathmandu as number 24 out of the top 25 destinations in the world. TripAdvisor has been assisting travelers with booking, destination selection, and planning.

Mani Raj Lamichhane, director of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), stated that this will have a positive impact on the promotion of Nepal as a travel destination. “Trip Advisor has been classifying different destinations in the world every year based on the reviews and feedback of millions of consumers. This time, Nepal has listed Kathmandu as the best destination among the seven categories, this will have a positive effect on the tourism promotion of Nepal, which is recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kathmandu Valley view
Pic: Kathmandu Valley view (Source: Adobe Stock)

The renowned American newspaper “The New York Times” has listed Mustang, Nepal, as one of the world’s must-see locations for 2024. The New York Times published a list of 52 locations worldwide after cataloguing the Mustang. 

Mustang, Nepal’s Trans-Mountain District, is a popular tourist destination that has been featured in the New York Times.

Mustang was listed by CNN earlier in May of last year as one of the world’s 23 must-see locations. While introducing the Mustang, CNN also cited a well-known ancient track for mountain hiking.

Mustang is also a religious, archaeological, and tourism destination. Notable religious sites include Muktinath in Mustang, which is also a heritage site that draws faith-based travelers.

Things to do in Kathmandu

Outdoor activities

Kathmandu combines the best of nature with some typical local life, stunning vistas of the Himalayas, a mesmerizing sunset, and an ethereal sunrise from Chisapani and Nagarkot. Beginning with a quick drive to Sundarijal, a well-liked hangout and bustling picnic area north of Kathmandu, the Tour around the Kathmandu Valley excursion gets underway.

Shivapuri National Park, Kathmandu
Pic: Shivapuri National Park, Kathmandu (Source: Asian Heritage Treks and Travels)

Situated inside the limits of Shivapuri National Park, this area features cool shadows, towering trees, picturesque streams, and a calm ambiance that contrast sharply with the bustle and cacophony of the metropolis.

Visit Chandargiri

A stunning location for visiting a Hindu goddess temple and taking in a broad vista of the Kathmandu valley with the Himalayan peaks along the northern skyline is Chandragiri Hills.

Chandragiri Hill
Pic: Chandragiri Hill, Kathmandu (Source: Viator)

Your love for this nation and the consistently kind, smiling people you encounter will grow as time goes on. It is not sufficient to do so just once.

Sightseeing in Patan and Bhaktapur

You should surely visit to Patan, another ancient city close to Kathmandu. In Patan, you will see Krishna Temple, Patan Durbar Square, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The main draws of this location are the surrounding temples, you can also explore the area. Afterward, you can visit the Patan museum, which houses information on the city’s archaeological past, its history, and its rulers.

Following your tour of Patan’s sights, you will can head  northeast to Bhaktapur, another ancient city of Nepal. Once there, you will first visit the Golden Temple, a major destination for both Hindus and Buddhists. You will also visit the Banglamukhi Temple and take in the surrounding area.

Bhaktapur, Nepal
Pic: Bhaktapur, Nepal (Source: Asian Heritage Treks and Travels)

You will be astounded to see Bhaktapur’s urban layout upon arrival, as the city has managed to preserve its ancient architecture. You can explore the city’s old wood-carved buildings and then proceed to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, home of the 55-window palace, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a look around, then pay a visit to one of Nepal’s largest temples, Nyatapola Temple. After seeing the area, you’ll visit a clay factory where potters create their traditional items using clay. Return to Kathmandu after your trip is over, check into a hotel, and then relax.

Explore the Budanilkanta Area of Kathmandu Valley

Visit the Narayanthan Temple, which is located in the Kathmandu Valley’s northern region. Nearly ten kilometers from Kathmandu, the Narayanthan Temple is located at the foot of the Shivapuri forest. When you first arrive, you may see the Hindu faithful presenting their prayers to the gods and goddesses all around the temple.

Budhanilkantha Temple
Pic: Budhanilkantha Temple (Source: Saarang)

The main draw of this location is the statue of Lord Vishnu, also known as Budhanilkantha, the multi-headed ruler of snake deities and the Hindu god known as Old Blue Throat, who resides on the spiraling coils of the cosmic serpent. After some time of exploring the area, you will begin your journey through Shivapuri National Park.

Another stunning monastery in the Kathmandu Valley where you can study Buddhism and practice meditation as a guru is called Kapan monastery. While visiting this monastery, you will experience bliss as the majority of the monks will be offering and enthralling prayers to the Lord Buddha. Explore the monastery and its surrounds. 

Natural Place around Kathmandu

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is not only a vibrant urban center but also surrounded by natural beauty. Here are some of the best natural places in and around Kathmandu:

You may also like: What makes Nepal different than other countries

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

Located to the north of Kathmandu, this national park offers hiking trails and a chance to experience nature. The trek to Shivapuri Peak provides panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley.

Shivapuri National Park
Pic: Shivapuri National Park (Source: Wikimedia)

Chandragiri Hills

A short drive from Kathmandu, Chandragiri Hills offers stunning views of the Himalayas. The cable car ride to the top provides a scenic journey, and once at the summit, you can enjoy the view of the mountains and the valley.

Nagarjun Forest Reserve

This reserve is situated to the northwest of Kathmandu and is a great place for hiking and bird watching. It is known for its peaceful atmosphere and lush greenery.

Godavari Botanical Garden

Located at the base of Phulchoki Hill, this botanical garden is a peaceful retreat with a variety of plants and trees. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll.

Phulchoki Hill

A bit further away from the city, Phulchoki Hill is the highest point in the Kathmandu Valley. The trek to the top is rewarded with panoramic views of the Himalayas and the valley.

Phulchowki Hill
Pic: Phulchowki Hill (Source: Tripadvisor)

Taudaha Lake

Taudaha, located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, is a serene lake surrounded by hills. It’s a good place for bird watching, and you can enjoy a boat ride on the lake.

Kirtipur

Although primarily a historical town, Kirtipur is also known for its natural beauty. The Champa Devi hill in Kirtipur offers hiking opportunities and a chance to enjoy the surrounding landscapes.

Read: 19 You Need To Know Before Visiting Nepal

Budhanilkantha (Narayanthan)

Famous for the sleeping Vishnu statue, Budhanilkantha also has a peaceful and well-maintained park. It’s a great place for a relaxed afternoon.

Dhulikhel

While Dhulikhel is a bit farther from Kathmandu, it’s worth mentioning for its breathtaking views of the Himalayas. It’s a popular spot for sunrise and sunset views.

Best season to visit Kathmandu

The best season to visit Kathmandu depends on your preferences and the type of activities you want to engage in. Kathmandu experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer (monsoon), autumn, and winter. Here’s a breakdown of each season:

Spring (March to May)

Spring is one of the most popular times to visit Kathmandu. The weather is mild and pleasant, with blooming flowers and greenery.

The temperatures are moderate, making it ideal for trekking, sightseeing, and outdoor activities.

More: Best Seasons and Months to Trek in Nepal

Rhododendrons, Nepal’s national flower, are in full bloom in the hills and mountains.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the monsoon season, characterized by heavy rainfall, high humidity, and occasional thunderstorms.

While the countryside becomes lush and green, trekking trails can be muddy and challenging. Landslides are also a concern in some areas.

If you don’t mind the rain and want to experience a quieter Kathmandu with fewer tourists, this could be an option.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is another excellent time to visit Kathmandu. The weather is clear, and the skies are generally sunny with cool temperatures.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Pic: Annapurna Base Camp Trek (Source: Asian Heritage Treks and Travels)

This season is the most popular for trekking in the Himalayas, including popular routes like the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit.

The air is crisp, and visibility is excellent, offering stunning views of the mountains.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Kathmandu is characterized by cool temperatures, clear skies, and dry weather.

While it can get cold, especially in the mornings and evenings, the daytime temperatures are generally mild.

Winter is a good time for cultural sightseeing and exploring the city. However, trekking at higher altitudes may be challenging due to snow and cold temperatures.

Also Read: Top 10 Trekking Places in Nepal

In summary, spring and autumn are considered the best seasons to visit Kathmandu. Spring offers blooming landscapes, while autumn provides clear skies and excellent trekking conditions. If you prefer milder temperatures and don’t mind some rain, summer could be an option. Winter is suitable for city exploration but may not be the best time for high-altitude treks.

Our Tours in Kathmandu

This three-day tour, which blends the best of nature with a taste of typical local life, offers spectacular vistas of the Himalayas, a spellbinding sunset, and an ethereal sunrise from Chisapani and Nagarkot. A short drive north of Kathmandu brings you to Sundarijal, a popular hangout and busy picnic place, where the Tour around the Kathmandu Valley trip starts.

Nagarkot
Pic: Nagarkot, Nepal (Source: Get Your Guide)

Located inside the boundaries of Shivapuri National Park, this location has serene surroundings that contrast sharply with the hustle and noise of the city, as well as cool shadows, towering trees, and attractive streams.

Highlights of the tour

  • Mesmerizing sunrise and sunset view
  • Enjoy the waterfall and dense forest along the trail
  • Breathtaking view of mountains from Chisapani
  • Explore famous architecture, metal sculptures, and carvings

Cost

The over all approximate cost of this tour is around $229. It includes the following:

  • All land transportation by private vehicle.
  • 1-night accommodation in Hotel Country Villa or similar in Nagarkot on breakfast basis.
  • 1 night accommodation at Chisapani in a basic hotel with room only basis.
  • As mentioned the hotel accommodations are a twin-sharing basic.
  • An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed holder tour guide.
  • All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (Permit, TIMS).
  • Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment and accommodation.
  • All government and local taxes.
  • First aid kit

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